Some Quiet Place by Kelsey SuttonSome Quiet Place is a book I went into with pretty high expectations. For someone like me, the synopsis was almost too good to be true: a girl who can see emotions in physical form?! Beings from another realm that exist among us, without us knowing. She literally sees emotions as living beings when people around her feel them! But while she sees more than others... they can feel these emotions - Elizabeth feels nothing. Ever. That combination of ideas is just too cool! I want to gobble up stuff like that! I longed to explore this other realm further and get to know all the different possibilities of emotions in 'human' form! I was also really curious as to what had happened to Elizabeth to make her so different - not only because of what she can see that others can't, but why all those emotional elements she sees simply can not touch her, in any way.
Publication Date: July 8th 2013 by Flux Books
Elizabeth Caldwell doesn’t feel emotions . . . she sees them. Longing, Shame, and Courage materialize around her classmates. Fury and Resentment appear in her dysfunctional home. They’ve all given up on Elizabeth because she doesn’t succumb to their touch. All, that is, save one—Fear. He’s intrigued by her, as desperate to understand the accident that changed Elizabeth’s life as she is herself.
Elizabeth and Fear both sense that the key to her past is hidden in the dream paintings she hides in the family barn. But a shadowy menace has begun to stalk her, and try as she might, Elizabeth can barely avoid the brutality of her life long enough to uncover the truth about herself. When it matters most, will she be able to rely on Fear to save her?
I have mixed feelings about Some Quiet Place, mostly because despite dealing with personified emotions and 'the other realm', it didn't really come off as a fantasy-filled read. Not to say that that's a bad thing! Honestly once I got used to reading the book I was actually reading, instead of what I though I was getting, the dark, gritty reality of this story was a nice change of pace from the usual. Often, Some Quiet Place almost felt like a contemporary read - it had an abusive home and an MC who is emotionally shut-off, distant: an outsider. And when I say abusive home, I mean it. There are multiple instances and most are severe, so fair warning. Oh and did I mention, she also has a friend who is dying of cancer. o.O This is not a light and breezy fantasy romp and not something I'm especially used to reading. I've read adult fantasy books where the MC is abused but none ever came off this raw...or tragic. All these heavy themes a bit jarring initially but honestly they were also a refreshing change of pace, especially with the amount of YA or adult fantasy I read. So props to Kelsey Sutton for taking the road less traveled here!
The MC, Elizabeth was compelling, though sometimes hard to truly connect with - much of that due to her complete lack of emotion. It makes her so impossibly 'other', next to any and all humans...and last time I checked, I'm human too. (Right??) What I'm trying to say, is that I got the impression that Elizabeth was written with that purpose in mind; to seem mostly separate from humanity. How could she not be when she simply is incapable of feeling anything. I empathized with her though, especially when she began taking interest in why she's so different and what happened to make her this way. At times she frustrated me though because from the outside, it seemed like she was blindly clinging on to her stubbornness sometimes - instead of determinedly searching for answers. Honestly though when the truth comes out, it's a little easier to understand why she clung to her notions and I could see the logic behind her resistance. The more she began to dig & search, she was able to piece things together bit by bit and the effect it had on her was clear...even if she couldn't see it yet. And that made me root for her even more. I cared. I wanted to put the puzzle pieces together. I did manage to guess the finale outcome before the MC did but even then, I wanted to know when she'd figure it all out - and how she'd take it.
I realize that this review is kind of cryptic, but there's not much I can discuss plot-wise without spoilers. So let's move on to things I can talk about! The supporting cast of characters is solid & memorable throughout, from the humans in Elizabeth's everyday life - as horrible as some of them are, there are simply wonderful ones to balance things out. The emotions and elements though are truly something, each physical being seeming to truly embody the emotion or element in question, in every single combination imaginable, from the truly dreamy bad boy to a really (really!) horrifying presence. I would have liked more information on their world and their origins though and would have gladly traded off some of the slower moving scenes for some sort of 'other realm' history lesson.
I guess my ambivalence with Some Quiet Place mostly stems from me expecting a paranormal-heavy story and getting more of a contemporary vibe with fantasy or paranormal elements thrown in. I think this could be an excellent book for contemporary readers who tend to mostly dabble in fantasy-lite stories. And I know I've said this before but I'm BIG on MC-reader connections and as someone on the high-emotion side, Elizabeth kept me at a distance when I would have wanted us to be more like BFF's... it's almost like her inability to feel rubbed off on me. Only I did care, just not as much as I would have wanted to. The ending was satisfying, but since I'd already pieced together the big twist, I can't say how the surprise element would have affected my overall impression. I'm guessing if you haven't guessed the twists before they happen, you might just really be blown away! Despite my lack of surprise, I appreciated the way everything fit together so well - no lingering loose ends and everything stayed true to whatever we'd learned previously. I know I'm kind of all over the place here, but the bottom line for me really is: I finished Some Quiet Place 3 days ago now, and I still really want to discuss it with someone - anyone! And to me, that defines a book that was worth my time.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars ★★★☆☆
**Thanks to Flux Books for the ARC of Some Quiet Place that was provided in exchange for an honest review!**